On February 3, on the memorial of St. Blaise, the custom is to bless the throat of the faithful after Mass.
For the blessing the priest uses the following words:
“Through the intercession of St. Blaise, Bishop and Martyr, may God deliver you from every disease of the throat and from every other illness. In the name of the Father, † and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”
St. Blaise was probably born to noble and wealthy family who provided him with a Christian education. He went on to become a physician, but eventually was chosen and consecrated a bishop. During the one of the last persecutions of the Church by the Romans – a persecution conducted by Licinius, who at one point was an ally of Constantine – Blaise went to live as a hermit in a cave outside of town, where he was known to heal sick. Ultimately he was discovered and he was taken to the governor of Cappadocia, and thrown into jail.
St. Blaise was asked to renounce his faith and when he wouldn’t, the governor had him beaten, tortured and beheaded in 316 AD.
In time, the custom of blessing the throats of the faithful developed, with priests holding two candles — blessed the day before on Candlemas, Feb 2 — over the head or the throat while invoking the intercession of St. Blaise against any ailment of the throat and body.
St. Blaise is invoked at the blessing of throats, because when he was in prison he miraculously cured a young boy who was choking to death on a fishbone stuck in his throat.
In this season where many of us have ailments related to the throat because of colds and such, let us ask the intercession of St. Blaise and please join us after all Masses (7:15 AM, 8 AM, 12:10 PM and 5:10 PM) to have your throats blessed.